Charlie Wi joined an exclusive millionaires' club in 2009 by topping US$1 million in earnings on the US PGA Tour for the third season in a row. Not many players show that level of consistency on the ultra-competitive American circuit. But Wi insists money will never top the sheer pleasure of winning. The South Korean ace should know. He has reeled off seven victories during his professional career, all of them on the Asian Tour, where he was runner-up to Royal Trophy teammate Thongchai Jaidee in the Order of Merit after winning three times in 2001. But since basing himself in the United States five years ago, Wi has finished runner-up three times - and is still waiting for his breakthrough by claming his maiden victory in America. Even though everyone accepts that the US Tour is the hardest circuit to win on, Wi has still found that experience frustrating, which is another reason why he so highly relished being part of the victorious Asian team at the 2009 Royal Trophy. 'A win feels very good, and when you have had a few near misses it feels even better to be able to punch the air and enjoy the acclaim from the spectators,' Wi said. 'Second places bring you big cheques and a certain satisfaction in knowing you have finished ahead of some of the best players in the game. But it always leaves you wanting more, which is a good thing. If you are not hungry and prepared to push yourself the extra mile, you are soon going to get left behind. 'Having enjoyed a lot of success in Asia, winning on the US PGA Tour is something I am determined to accomplish as well. Making a contribution to our Asian continent's win last year did a lot for my confidence. It was an unbelievable feeling to prevail over the Europeans in Thailand. 'The third edition of the Royal Trophy was really a great event. We bonded very well as a team, and that showed in the way we played. I can't wait to come back and try to secure a second consecutive victory for Asia.' Wi formed an impressive partnership with China's number one Liang Wenchong in the 2009 Royal Trophy. They linked up for crucial wins in both the foursomes and four-balls, and seem certain to be reunited at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand, next week. His worldwide odyssey actually began at the age of 10, when his family moved from Seoul to Los Angeles. That proved the springboard for a sparkling amateur career in the US. He won the prestigious Pac-10 title in 1995, and earned all-American honours after finishing with the third-best stroke average in the country - behind two men who also went on to become successful professionals. They were Stewart Cink - the current British Open champion - and a Stanford freshman named Tiger Woods. After graduating, Wi returned to Asia to learn his trade in the professional ranks. He won his first professional title, the Kuala Lumpur Open, in 1997, and returned to Malaysia nine years later to record his biggest win - the 2006 Malaysian Open.